If you are truly committed to growing your business online, you will need a content marketing strategy. An important part of any content marketing strategy is maintaining a regular content publishing schedule.
So … what happens to your content publishing schedule if you have to step away for a while?
WordPress has a neat hidden feature that lets you postdate and backdate your posts. This is a very useful feature that many WordPress bloggers don’t know about. In this article, you will learn how to schedule posts in WordPress.
Publishing fresh content regularly on your site helps you get more pages indexed by search engines, drive new prospective customers to your site and keep your site readers returning for more information.
There are instances, however, where you don’t necessarily want your content to be published immediately.
For example, here are some situations where you may not want posts published as soon as it’s been added to the WordPress CMS:
- You need to go away for a while but you still want to publish articles to your blog on a regular basis.
- You need a previously published post removed and automatically published again at a future time and date.
- You would like to start publishing a daily blog post with the latest news about a certain topic for your loyal blog readers, but they live in a different time country than you. You want them to read your new post every day at the same time, but this would require you to get up between 3 and 4 am to publish your post.
- You set aside one day each week to write a whole week’s worth of articles for your website, or you outsource your content writing to freelancers who send you many articles each month, but you don’t want to publish all of your new content at once!
- You set up an online training course and would like to “drip-feed” posts to members over a set period of time.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just add a whole bunch of posts to your blog in one go, and then have it all be automatically “drip-fed” to your blog so that only one new blog post gets published each day, or week, or every few days?
You could then implement a “set and forget” system for scheduling and publishing fresh content on your blog that would keep your visitors regularly engaged, and free up your time to focus on other areas of your business … or go away for a while and know that your blog is still working for you while you’re gone.
Well … with WordPress you can! If you set a date/time in the future for publishing your blog posts, WordPress will schedule and automatically publish or republish your content on the exact dates and times that you have set.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you a couple of ways to schedule WP blog posts to publish at a later date/time, as well as some great tips for publishing scheduled articles.
Go through the tutorial below to learn more about how to schedule WordPress posts.
How To Schedule Blog Posts In WordPress – Step-By-Step Tutorial
WordPress allows you to easily change the date and time of your published blog posts, including specifying dates and times in the future. This lets you create or add content to your site, which can then be pre-scheduled to go live at a future date and time of your choice.
You can schedule existing posts to publish at a future date using the Quick Edit method if you are scrolling through a list of all your existing posts, or you can schedule them as you’re working on posts.
Scheduling WordPress Posts Using The Quick Edit Feature
To schedule posts in WordPress using the Quick Edit method,
Log into your WP admin area and select Posts > All Posts …
(WP Posts Menu – Add New)
In your Posts section, find the item you want to schedule, then hover your mouse over the post title to reveal the options menu and click on Quick Edit…
(Posts Screen – Quick Edit)
The Quick Edit in-line editor expands to reveal all the “Quick Edit” options for editing posts …
(Quick Edit Options)
Find the “Date” feature …
(Change Date & Time Settings)
WordPress allows you to alter the date and time of your post, just by entering new values in the fields or selecting options from a dropdown date menu …
(Edit Post date & time)
Useful Tip: You can schedule posts in WordPress in the future or backdate post dates to show content as having been published prior to the original date of publication.
This is very useful if, for example, you’ve been away and would like to publish an account of your day-to-day events and would like your posts to match the actual dates you’ve been away. Another reason to backdate your blog posts would be to give a brand new blog a little bit more of an “established” look. Alternatively, you can set all posts to publish in the future if you plan to launch a new site at a future time.
Change the date of your post to whatever date (and time) you would like your post to display as having been published (future or past) …
(Posts scheduled to publish at a later specified date)
Note: To schedule a post as being published in the PM, you will need to use the 24-hour clock. For example, 1:00 PM would read as 13:00 in the scheduling module field. The time your post will actually publish is determined by the location settings set in your Settings > General area.
Click Update to save your post settings …
(Click ‘Update’ to save your changes)
Your saved post will now show as being “Scheduled” in your Posts section …
(Post status: Scheduled)
Your post status will also display as being “Scheduled” inside the Quick Edit > Status area …
(Quick Edit – Post status: ‘Scheduled’)
How To Schedule Posts In WordPress When Adding And Editing Posts
If you are creating a new post, you can schedule your post to publish at a future date and time, by clicking on Publish immediately > Edit…
(Publish section – Publish settings)
Edit the date (and time) of your post and click OK …
(Change Post date & time)
Remember to click on the Schedule button to update your post settings …
(Click on ‘Schedule’ to update your post settings)
Note: To backdate a blog post, simply edit the date before you click Publish, as described above. In this case, the button will not change to Schedule.
Your post is now scheduled for publishing on the date and time you have specified …
(Post schedule message)
If you are editing an existing post, you can schedule the post to be republished later by clicking on the Edit link next to the Published on: function …
(Publish box – Edit)
Edit the date (and time if you want) of your post and click the OK button …
(Click ‘OK’ to set your new date and time settings)
Click on the Schedule button to save your republishing settings …
Your post should now show as being scheduled inside the Post Edit > Publish module …
(’Scheduled’ post status)
Your post status will now show as ”Scheduled” in your Posts area …
(Posts table – Date column)
You can see which scheduled posts are queued for publishing in your WordPress dashboard’s ‘Activity’ panel …
(Dashboard – Activity screen)
Now, we’ll learn how to republish WordPress posts.
Useful Tip: The above method also works for editing WordPress pages.
How To Republish A WordPress Post
In some instances, you may want to republish an old post. If so, there are a few different options you can use to do this:
Edit Post Date And Time
You can reschedule your post by changing the date and the time the post was published. Enter a later date (and time) and click Schedule.
When the scheduled time arrives, the post will move from its current place in your timeline to the most recent spot on your blog and display the new date and time. The link for the post will also be updated to reflect the new publication date.
Note: When you reschedule a post, it will not redistribute to your email subscribers. If you need the post to be redistributed to your email subscribers, use the option below.
Edit Post Status
You can republish your post simply by changing the status of your post to Draft, clicking Update, and then clicking Publish again …
(Republishing your post)
When you do this, the post will automatically be re-sent to your email subscribers. However, the publication date and time will not change, so the post’s link and position in your timeline will remain unchanged.
Tip: If you want a republished post to show up first on your blog, you can always make it “sticky” …
(Tick box to make post sticky)
Learn more about making posts sticky here:
Un-Scheduling A Blog Post
If you’ve scheduled a post to publish in the future, but changed your mind and want to publish it immediately, just return to the Edit Post screen for your scheduled post.
In the Publish feature, click on the “Edit” link next to the date you have scheduled your post for publishing:
(Publish box – Edit)
Now, just enter today’s date and time (tip: if you’re not sure of the exact time just type in an hour or two earlier than your current time) as your scheduled post time and click OK …
(Click the ‘OK’ button to set your new date and time settings)
Click Publish …
Your post will publish right away …
(Post status: ‘Published’)
Troubleshooting Scheduled Posts
If your scheduled post did not publish when the scheduled time arrived, check the following:
- Is your timezone set correctly in your Settings > General section?
- Check the Post Status. Have you saved the post as a “Draft” instead of scheduling it?
- Did you click the “Schedule” button after changing the date/time settings? For a post to publish, the Schedule button must be clicked.
- Did you schedule too many posts for publishing? Are you using bulk post scheduling plugins to queue up thousands of posts? Depending on the resources of your web server, you could experience problems. If so, try lowering the number of scheduled items and see if this fixes the issue.
Automate Post Scheduling With Plugins
You can automate certain aspects of publishing and scheduling posts in WordPress with plugins.
Queuing Posts For Publishing
(Queue Posts WordPress Plugin)
Queue Posts is a free plugin that lets you place new posts and pages in a queue for later publication at a specified interval.
Whenever you create a new WordPress post or page, the plugin gives you the option of queuing your post …
This is great if you are scheduling a number of posts for publishing at a later date and would like these to be published in a certain order, or between specific times and intervals …
(Queue Posts – Settings)
For more details, visit the plugin’s website:
Bulk Schedule Posts
There are a number of plugins that let you “autopost” content (adding content automatically to WordPress blogs).
(AutoPost Scheduler Plugin For WordPress)
Auto Post Scheduler is a free plugin that will schedule ‘auto post checks’ to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically.
Use a plugin like Auto Post Scheduler to publish new posts and/or recycle old posts automatically. There’s no need to schedule post times individually and recycling old posts can revitalize traffic.
This plugin is especially useful if you plan to import a large number of blog posts, as you can set the plugin to publish posts at whatever frequency you choose as well as specify a range of other settings …
(Auto Post Scheduler Options)
To learn more, visit their website: AutoPost Scheduler Plugin
Although you may not need all of the features of an “autoblogging” plugin, a plugin like WPRobot includes a module that lets you bulk import posts or article files into your WordPress site set these to automatically publish at regular or random intervals in the future.
(WP Robot – WP Plugin)
For more information about this plugin, visit the plugin’s website here: WPRobot – WP Plugin
If you plan to run a membership-style website, most professional WordPress membership plugins allow you to schedule your content to be ‘drip-fed’ to members at intervals that you specify (e.g. every 7 days, etc.).
To learn more about membership plugins that allow you to schedule content delivery, go here:
Fixing “Missed Schedule” Posts
Sometimes WordPress will miss a scheduled post …
To learn how to fix the missed post scheduling issue, see the tutorial below:
Congratulations, now you know how to publish your WP blog posts at a future date.
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)